Gallbladder Pain – These Signs Suggest You’re Having A Gallbladder Attack
A couple hours after eating your favorite fried food or rich, fattening treat, is when you may experience the misery of your first gallbladder attack. Often beginning in the upper and right abdomen, this gallbladder pain is often described as a gnawing, aching or gripping pain.
The symptoms of gallbladder disease can be fairly diverse, ranging from indigestion to pain in surprising places. The following signs indicate that your discomfort may in fact be a gallbladder attack.
First, you experience pain a couple hours after eating or late at night. Pain that comes on during or immediately after eating is usually related to a food sensitivity or other issue, and not a gallbladder problem. The gallbladder receives a signal to squeeze and release the bile it holds when fat in your meals is being digested.
The timing has bile arrive in the duodenum (the upper small intestine) just after the food passes from the stomach. If your stomach hurts, you have a different issue.
You experience back pain or shoulder blade pain. This seemingly odd symptom is connected to gallbladder pain because gallbladder inflammation and bile duct blockage often press on the phrenic nerve which then radiates pain all the way up past the right shoulder, through the neck and to the head.
Some patients even experience chest pain during a gallbladder attack, leading them to fear a heart attack. Never hesitate to seek medical attention if you suspect a heart attack. Luckily, these strange symptoms are often the fault of the gallbladder.
Your pain lasts between 15-30 minutes then slowly subsides. Though a gallbladder attack due to biliary colic (a gallstone blockage) will feel intense and changing position or OTC medications don’t help, it will start to fade on its own within an hour in most cases.
Cholecystitis or acute gallbladder inflammation is a complication of biliary colic and that form of pain lasts several hours or more, is much more severe and can be accompanied by vomiting, fever and chills. If you experience pain that does not subside after a few hours or any of these other signs, seek urgent medical care.
You notice pain after eating high-fat meals or fried food. Many people live with gallstones and don’t even know it. They don’t always cause issues. Small stones often pass right through the bile duct system unnoticed. The fat in our meals signal gallbladder contractions and as the small, pouch-like organ fills up with stones, it becomes increasingly likely that eating high fat meals will push out stones more often.
So adopting a good gallbladder diet becomes imperative in order to prevent gallbladder attacks. Some fats like saturated and hydrogenated fats are very hard to digest and cause pain and pressure for the struggling gallbladder. Reducing these fats and replacing with coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds will help lighten the burden on your gallbladder.
If you notice signs of indigestion or any gallbladder pain, the time to take action and support the health of your liver and gallbladder is now.